Today is the absolute last day of 2013 and tomorrow is the first day of 2014. While this sentence is really obvious, it leaves us in a type of limbo. All of the resolutions for 2014 that we’ve made (guilty!) won’t start for another day. A last 24 hours of being lazy, fat, miserable slobs until the clock strikes midnight, the ball drop, we find somebody to kiss and suddenly, BOOM, we need to immediately be fitter, healthier, happier, richer people. Why wait until tomorrow to start your resolutions, why not start them today?
I tell you why, because it’s really difficult to do life-changing things on a whim. Starting our resolutions on January 1 is the equivalent to starting a diet on a Monday morning after spending your Sunday night binge eating at McDonalds. I don’t know about anybody else, but I need to prepare myself for mental closure before finishing/giving up something. How often have you been eating chips out of the bag while watching TV or reading and put your hand back in the bag for another chip, just to pull your hand out, empty? No more chips. You ate them all and didn’t even realize it. THIS IS THE WORST FEELING, EVER. Okay, there are a few other feelings that are equivalent like getting out of bed in the middle of the night in January to use the bathroom when your heat went out, stepping in dog poop when walking into school and not realizing it until you get home, even though you smelled shit all day long but just couldn’t figure out where it was coming from, the nanosecond before getting grades back, being on a long stretch of highway and seeing the next rest stop is 50 miles away and you really have to go, but not getting closure is the absolute worst. I always go through multiple stages of grief before accepting the fact that I’m a giant slob who shouldn’t eat chips (or anything else!) out of the bag while distracted again. Making our resolutions days before January 1 allows us that time to grief for the activities that we’re giving up.
But, what if I told you that instead of looking at your resolutions as giving up something, look at them as allowing you to gain something, instead.
As the quote above says, think of 2014 as a 365 page book that you’re reading. Not all pages will be exciting or even feel necessary to your 365 story, but they are. Each day is a blank page, write each day to the fullest. Here’s a few ways to help you make the most out of each day:
- Plan your day the night before, making sure to complete at least three things you set out to do. Hell, I totally understand how hard it is some days to even get out of bed and go onto the couch, but even on days like that, I always try to do a few little things so I feel like I did something. Usually when I want to have a lazy day I make coffee (which do not let anybody tell you differently, making coffee is an accomplishment on some days), call my family, take a shower and run some errands.
- Do a good deed for somebody. Whether it’s letting somebody merge in traffic, holding the door for somebody, or if this is more your type, starting a pay it forward at your local coffee shop and pay for the person’s order behind you. I guarantee that you’ll feel a little better about yourself and whether you realize it or not, that person is definitely grateful to you for that nice gesture.
- Reflect and be present. Live in the moment and take a few minutes at the end of each day to reflect. What did you do that day? Are you happy with how the day ended? Were you the best person you could have been? If you could go back and do the day over again what would you change? It is so easy to get so caught up in what’s going on in other people’s lives, what happened in the day, what’s happening next week or even a few months from now. Especially as law students, it’s so easy to get boggled down with preparing for finals weeks or months in advance, hunting for summer jobs in winter and spending your summer planning when to go home for Christmas. Take a few minutes for yourself at the end of each day. Be present. Stay focused.
- Laugh more. Laughing gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their spouses. Unless you plan on being a homicidal maniac in 2014, laugh for a few minutes each day or else you’ll spend your life sharing a jail cell with El Diablo from Beyond Scared Straight. (Google her, I’ll wait). Found her? The woman with the facial tattoo? Yeah, she’s scary. While everybody has bad days once in a while, waking up next to her
or with her on your facewould make each day a bad day. HAVE GOOD DAYS ONCE IN A WHILE PEOPLE and don’t be miserable just because you’ve been having a bad day. You never know what other people are going through, so for everybody’s sake splash a smile on your face and say please and thank you to others.
- Let go of the old. This is really self explanatory, but let go of the shit that’s been bugging you since 2011, 1999, 2006 and especially 2013. Stop holding grudges against people who you no longer speak. Apologize to people who you’ve wronged in the past. Broke up with a boyfriend/girlfriend? Stop obsessing about them. The relationship ended for a reason, please do everybody a favor and just forget it happened. Got fired from a job? Stop obsessing about it. Everybody gets let go from a job at one point in their lives. Take it as a learning experience and MOVE THE FUCK ON. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes that reason is to help you see your true worth.
While that list is small and not at all individualized, you know yourself best. You know which steps that you need to take to have a good day. If you do those steps everyday, 2014 will be a great year.
Happy 2014, everybody!
PS: Make one of your resolutions for 2014 to stay alive. Assign a designated driver for your evening activities. Buzzed driving is still drunk driving. It’s not worth putting your life and the lives of others at risk because you want to go home, or even to another party. Spend the night somewhere safe or take a taxi home. I can’t stress it enough. Do. Not. Drive. Impaired.
AAA is running a program called the Holiday Safe Ride Program in certain states/cities where AAA will tow your car for free (up to 10 miles). See the link to find if your state or city is on the list: http://newsroom.aaa.com/safety/holiday-safe-ride-program/